New Zealand’s Massey University is partnering with five others in order to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies as well as to enable more collaborative innovation across the country’s regions and primary industries.
According to a recent press release, the partnership will be called the Primary Industries and Regional Innovation Collaborative (PIRIC).
What is PIRIC?
According to the University’s Dean, New Zealand is facing an era of disruptive change and wicked problems such as climate change, which can only be addressed collaboratively. PIRIC, he added, is an innovative response to these issues.
The partnership aims to drive the digital transformation of the country’s primary industries as well as support sustainable social and economic growth in regional New Zealand and boost the protection of the environment.
They believe in the potential for science and technologies to contribute to the well-being of humanity.
To build a sustainable future for the country, there is a need to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies into the Primary Industries and Regional Economies, and can no longer act as individuals or organisations working alone.
The partnership is a grand experiment that seeks to identify complex issues and challenges in New Zealand’s primary industries and regional economies.
It seeks challenges that can only be solved by taking a joined approach of working with others. It has embraced a new mindset in collaborative innovation.
Pooling networks and expertise
For the first phase of the project, the partners, which are drawn from across the technology, innovation and primary sectors, will bring their expertise and networks together.
The University will be contributing its rich history in primary industry that gives it a depth of capability in a range of areas.
This will connect to the complementary capabilities that the other partners are bringing to the table such as digital technology expertise; connectivity across regional New Zealand; forestry innovation; experience in agritech start-ups; and expertise in collaborative governance.
Pooling all of this together can surely make a real difference.
The contribution of the University, similar to the contribution of all the partners, will be determined by the projects the collaborative develops.
Organisations commonly come together around a funding bid where the problem is defined by the Government or other funder.
With PIRIC, the parameters are more open, it is fundamentally an innovative way of identifying opportunities and solving problems where organisations across a value chain voluntarily commit to strategic partnership because it is the right thing to do.
It would be best to think of the partnership as a club, a ‘do tank’ instead of a ‘think tank’. Their success will be judged solely on what it enables.
Areas of Focus
The partnership will focus on strengthening the country’s regional economies by accelerating the digital transformation of New Zealand’s agriculture, food processing, forestry, horticulture, and seafood sectors.
It will also help build sustainable and connected communities that have the confidence, skills and ability to participate in the digital world.